The Trinidad and Tobago National Football Team has announced a September 4 international friendly against Mexico in Salt Lake City, which is meant to help prepare the “Soca Warriors” for their 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign.
It will be the second time that the Warriors and “El Tricolor” clash this year as they will also meet in the 2015 Gold Cup on July 15.
Warriors head coach Stephen Hart welcomed news of the friendly clash.
“World Cup qualification demands complete planning and proper preparation,” Hart told the TTFA Media. “This is the quality of opposition we need to get into our campaign.”
At present, Mexico is ranked 23rd in the world by FIFA and second in CONCACAF while Trinidad and Tobago is 67th and sixth respectively.
El Tricolor boasts of some of the Confederation’s top players like Manchester United’s Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernández, PSV Eindhoven’s Andrés Guardado and Villarreal’s Giovani dos Santos, although Chicharito has just been ruled out of the Gold Cup due to a collar bone injury.
The Warriors, who are already without injured players Kevin Molino, Carlyle Mitchell, Hughtun Hector, Seon Power and Robert Primus, will hope to keep their remaining players healthy when they face Haiti from 5 pm tomorrow in a closed doors training match at the Central Broward Regional Complex in Fort Lauderdale.
Haiti is preparing for Gold Cup matches against Panama, the United States and Honduras while the Warriors face Guatemala, Cuba and Mexico in their group.
At present, Trinidad and Tobago has 22 players in camp as Iceland-based attacker Jonathan Glenn and winger Cordell Cato joined the squad today.
Winger Lester Peltier is expected to miss the Haiti warm-up match, though, due to a delay in acquiring the relevant travel documents. The Warriors staff expect him to arrive later this week.
Hart is trying to introduce his squad to a new 4-3-3 system and the Haiti friendly is their only chance to try it out in a game situation before the Gold Cup.
(Trinidad and Tobago Gold Cup team)
Goalkeepers: 21.Jan-Michael Williams (Central FC), 1.Marvin Phillip (Point Fortin Civic), 22.Adrian Foncette (Police FC);
Defenders: 6.Radanfah Abu Bakr (HB Koge—Denmark), 18.Yohance Marshall (Juventud Independiente—El Salvador), 4.Sheldon Bateau (KV Mechelen, Belgium), 17.Mekeil Williams (W Connection), 5.Daneil Cyrus (W Connection), 2.Aubrey David (Shakhter Karagandy—Kazakhstan), 3.Joevin Jones (Chicago Fire—USA);
Midfielders: 14.Andre Boucaud (Dagenham & Redbridge—UK), 8.Khaleem Hyland (KVC Westerlo—Belgium), 15.Dwane James (North East Stars), 19.Kevan George (Columbus Crew—USA), 11.Ataulla Guerra (Central FC), 20.Keron Cummings (North East Stars);
Forwards: 9.Kenwyne Jones (Cardiff City—UK), 13.Cordell Cato (San Jose Earthquakes—USA), 23.Lester Peltier (Slovan Bratislava—Slovakia), 10.Willis Plaza (Central FC), 16.Rundell Winchester (Portland Timbers 2—USA), 7.Jonathan Glenn (IBV—Iceland), 12.Kadeem Corbin (St Ann’s Rangers).
Gold Cup fixtures
(Thu July 9)
Trinidad and Tobago v Guatemala, Chicago;
(Sun July 12)
Trinidad and Tobago v Cuba, Phoenix;
(Wed July 15)
Trinidad and Tobago v Mexico, Charlotte.